Notes from Windward: #64

The Unknown Chair

      The Chairs I've sketched so far are just some of the examples of worthwhile fields of study and practice which come easily to mind given the resources we have at hand. By no means is this a complete list; rather, these examples are offered as a way to convey part of our vision of how Windward will develop over the coming years.

      We know that Windward today is but an initial version of the Windward that is yet to come, and while some aspects of that future are easy enough to see, we know that other aspects will unfold only when the right person shows up since it's vision and desire which, more than anything else, are needed in order to transform a potential benefit into a sustainable reality.

      Many other possible chairs could be developed, everything from glass blowing to raising rare birds, and it doesn't even have to be something which is product oriented. An example of a service oriented chair could involve a person who offered immersion teaching of some foreign language.

      One criteria is that a Chair has to have a substantial educational component.

      Another is that it has to be able to fund itself, not necessarily right away, but there has to either be an external income stream sufficient to cover the Chair's membership dues, and the expenses involved in operating the Chair, or the reasonable expectation of getting there within the near future.

      I recently read a thoughtful article on the impact of the current trend of outsourcing ever more technical jobs to countries such as India. The author's position was that skilled people needed to be worried about this, unless of course they can figure out how to live on four hundred dollars a month.

      Well, Windward is living proof that intelligent, self-reliant folk can live worthwhile and interesting lives on four hundred dollars a month - we've been doing that for years now, and our quality of life is steadily improving. That's not to say that it wasn't a real challenge in the early years, but those days are long past, and even better days are at hand.

      Our experience is that just about any person of sound mind and body who has a desire to be creative and a will to work can easily generate enough value to cover their dues. Some do it through creating things, others do it through teaching things, and others do it by a combination of activities that come together to fund their vision of what they're here to do.

      These days many people take early retirement only to find that their decreased income is insufficient to enable them to live a fulfilling and meaningful lifestyle in the city. They could get some menial part-time job to supplement their income, but what joy is there in that? How much better to find a place where even a modest income can enable them to do something meaningful with their time and resources, a place like Windward.

      The third is that the activities conducted by the Chair have to enhance Windward's sustainability. Since a Chair such as the Mycology Chair would work directly with forest products harvested from the land Windward stewards, or the Arbor Chair would be dedicating substantial portions of Windward to growing speciality trees for the foreseeable future, there would be a corresponding degree of involvement by Windward in those programs.

      Other programs which didn't directly affect our land and operations would be correspondingly independent.

      If there's a course of study that you would like to consider pursuing on a serious basis, but can't because living in the mainstream world eats up too much of your time, money and energy, then this could be a way to focus your resources on what you really want to do instead of just on what you have to do to get by. If so, then you're invited to contact us with a proposal for the creation of a Chair which is focused on what it is you want to do.


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Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 64